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"Re-take of Amrita: Vivan Sundaram"
2005-09-23 until 2005-10-29
Gallery 44, Centre for Contemporary Photography
Toronto, ON, CA Canada

Vivan Sundaram, a senior artist based in New Delhi, India, digitally reworks family photographs made by his grandfather, Umrao Singh Sher-Gil. Playing a starring role in many of the works is the artistís aunt Amrita Sher-Gil, one of Indiaís iconic modern artists. Sundaramís works collapse time and space, transforming objects of history into contemporary fictions. The politics of the past are foregrounded in an interrogation that is ultimately about the present.

Vivan Sundaram has been dealing with images from a family archive in the last few years. No ordinary archive, the images document the family life of a female artist and bohemian in early twentieth-century India. Negotiating between Indian tradition and European modernism, the lifestyle of the subjects provides a fascinating example of society in transition. The artist further emphasizes this with his approach of digitally reworking the images, often doubling or mirroring the subjects.

The exhibition is co-presented with SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Collective) www.savac.net

Vivan Sundaram was born 1947 in Shimla and now lives and works in New Delhi, India. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in India, Europe, Canada, and most recently the U.S. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions and international biennials including Kwanju (1997) and Johannesburg (2000).


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